What are annuals?

Annuals are plants that complete their entire life cycle annually, in one year.


Their seeds germinate, the plants grow, they flower, make seeds to reproduce, and they die at the end of the season.


Pansies & violas are edible flowers



Marigolds help repel certain pests

If they come back the next year, it is because some of their seeds were still viable after the winter.

Continuous color

Annuals give us lots of color that lasts most of the season, because flowering is the only way this kind of plant can reproduce.

Once they start flowering, lots of annuals will continue blooming until frost.





Others will bloom until they set sufficient seed to ensure the continuation of the plant.  For these annuals, deadheading to prevent seed set will keep the plant in full bloom.





Annuals Re-seeding

Some annuals re-seed freely, meaning you will have new plants the next season because lots of seeds survived the winter, so long as you don’t weed out the baby plants.

Some annuals re-seed so easily that they act like perennials, coming back each year, except that they will be in new places—wherever last year’s seeds landed.



Fiddleneck—a great host for beneficial insects


Will re-seeded annuals look like last year’s?

If an annual is a hybrid variety, the seeds will produce variable new plants;some might be like the parents, but others might resemble one grandparent  or another, which might look quite different than the  hybrid you originally planted.



Can I over-winter annuals in my house?

There are certain tender perennials that we call “annuals” here in New England.  These are perennials that are not hardy in our area.


Our winters (sometimes just a hard frost) will kill the roots as well as the rest of the plant.


These “annuals” can be brought inside before cold weather, and if your care  Senetti can be overwintered as a houseplant meets the plants’ needs, it will still be alive so you can plant it back outside  the next year.

Examples of “annuals” you can overwinter in your house are geraniums, fuchsia, even petunias.

Many people think it is easier to start over with fresh plants every year.


The advantage of annuals


Some people prefer annual gardens.  Not only do they like the constant color, they just till the whole garden bed once every spring, plant the annuals, and then do less weeding than new perennial beds because annuals fill in so quickly they can shade out many of the weeds.





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